Another celebrity family has been hit with criminal charges, but this time the celebs are adamant they did nothing wrong. Todd and Julie Chrisley, of the reality show "Chrisley Knows Best," are currently in custody after they were indicted on charges of tax evasion, conspiracy, bank fraud, and wire fraud. Their accountant, Peter Tarantino, was also indicted.
The Chrisleys knew this was coming, though, and even posted about the incoming charges on Todd's Instagram page. According to the family, it was an ex-employee who stole from them that got them in this position.
I've never talked about this publicly before, but there's been a cloud hanging over Julie and me and our entire family for the past seven years. It all started back in 2012, when we discovered that a trusted employee of ours had been stealing from us big time. I won't go into details, but it involved all kinds of really bad stuff like creating phony documents, forging our signatures, and threatening other employees with violence if they said anything.
We even discovered hat he illegally bugged our home. Needless to say, we fired the guy and took him to court - and that's when the real struggle started. To get revenge, he took a bunch of his phony documents to the U.S. Attorney's office and told them we had committed all kinds of financial crimes, like tax evasion and bank fraud.
That got their attention all right, but once we had a chance to explain who he was and what he'd done to us, they realized it was all a bunch of nonsense and they sent him on his way.
So far so good - except that our former employee didn't give up. Somehow, he persuaded a different set of investigators at the U.S. Attorney's office not only to reopen the case but also to grant him immunity from prosecution for his own crimes and bring charges against us. As a result, it looks like later this week Julie and I are going to be named in a federal indictment charging us with tax evasion and probably a bunch of other financial crimes as well.
I'm telling you this now because we have nothing to hide and have done nothing to be ashamed of. Not only do we know we've done nothing wrong, but we've got a ton of hard evidence and a bunch of corroborating witnesses that proves it. Anyway, when all is said and done, we trust in God and God says to us in Jeremiah 51:36, "I will defend you. I will be your lawyer. I will plead your case." We know that if and when the goes to court, the truth will prevail and the charges against us will be exposed for the outrageous lies they are.
As it says in Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the lord with all your heart. And lean not on your won understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight."
We want to express our gratitude to everyone who helped place us where we are today in our lives. We thank you for your support and we will continue to work every day to earn your respect, loyalty, and admiration.
We covet your prayers,
Todd, Julie & the entire Chrisley Clan
The indictment featured 12 counts of bank and wire fraud conspiracy, among other issues. The couple's lawyers, Bruce H. Morris and Stephen M. Friedberg, released a statement on the matter, saying they have "no doubt that if this case ever reaches a courtroom, Todd and Julie will be completely exonerated. But in the meantime, their reputation will be sullied by a shamefully unjustified prosecution based on testimony of a dishonest source who has somehow managed to successfully mislead prosecutors."
US Attorney BJay Pak doesn't agree that the couple will be exonerated at all. In a statement announcing the indictment, he said the Chrisleys were charged "not only with defrauding a number of banks by fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in loans, but also with allegedly cheating taxpayers by actively evading paying federal taxes on the money they earned. Celebrities face the same justice that everyone does. These are serious federal charges and they will have their day in court."
The indictment alleges that the Chrisleys forged documents about their financial status, including in 2014 when they applied to rend a home.
"When applying to rent the home in July 2014, Julie Chrisley transmitted multiple fabricated documents that had been physically cut and then glued or taped together, and Todd Chrisley sent an email containing a false statement about the Chrisleys' available funds," it says. "On July 23, 2014, Julie Chrisley sent an email to the realtor attaching a City National Bank account statement reporting a June 30, 2014 account balance of $86,790.86. In reality, the City National bank account had a balance of negative $14,530.89 in June 2014."
Three days later, Julie sent a copy of her bank statement that showed a balance of $409,738.85, which had allegedly been cut and glued or taped together. She also sent a false credit report stating she had a score of around 800, but in reality it was actually in the 500s. This all according to the indictment.
The document also alleges that the Chrisleys failed to "timely file federal tax returns or pay income taxes for the 2013, 2014, 2015 or 2016 tax years."
While it's not clear what the truth is here, chances are these charges aren't going to go away quietly.